MSI Pro AP242
msi pro ap242

MSI Pro AP242

MSI Pro AP242: One minute review

The MSI Pro AP242 is an all-in-one PC for users in need of a simple and inexpensive desktop. Beyond simple general task from secretarial leaning work to media consumption or web browsing, there isn’t much else to do with the all-in-one. 

Spec-wise, the Pro AP242 doesn’t have much going on, and everything about the all-in-one is completely no-frills, including the plastic build itself. Those who don’t care about playing any remotely complex games or using something like Adobe Suite and who intend to spend more time checking emails and using Google Docs, will get something out of this PC. 

Those that try to push it even remotely hard will find sluggish performance that’ll even sometimes crash certain software, and it falls behind many of the best all-in-one computers on several performance fronts, including some that are more competitive in price. 

The full-HD display does feature Tobii software for privacy alongside MSI’s Eye Care technology to reduce eye strain but that’s about it. Even the speakers sound sub-par so headphones are going to be a better option. Thankfully, the 1080p webcam (with decent lighting) and microphone works well enough for video conferencing. 

Besides affordability, setting up the Pro AP242 is relatively a simple experience and the solid wireless keyboard and mouse combo get the job done, too. Add a three-year warranty into the mix and there’s some value in the MSI Pro AP242 for those who can manage expectations.

MSI Pro AP242: Price and availability

An MSI Pro AP242 resting on a table

The MSI Pro AP242 will fit in perfectly in a public library, since that is pretty much the only kind of work you’ll be able to do with it. (Image credit: Future)

  • Only available in the United States for now
  • Starting at $843 through Office Depot

MSI Pro AP242 Key Specs

Here is the MSI Pro AP242 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

CPU: Intel Core i5-12400
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics
RAM: 8GB DDR4
Screen: 23.8″ FHD IPS-Grade 1920×1080, LED, Matte
Storage: 250GB M.2 NVMe SSD
Ports: 2x USB-A 2.0 /  2X USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 /  USB-A 3.2 Gen 2  / USB-C 3.2 / HDMI out 2.0 / DP out 1.4 / RJ45 / Mic-in / Line-out /  Kensington lock / DC Jack
Connectivity: WiFi 6 (802.11ax) 2.4Gbps, Dual Band 2.4GHz, 5GHz / Bluetooth 5.2
Camera: Built in 1080p (FHD) w/Dual-array Mic
Weight: 10.21 lbs (4.63 kg)
Size: 21.34 x 8.97 x 16.79 inch (541.93 x 227.93 x 426.45mm) 

The MSI Pro AP242 is available now exlcusively through Office Debot in six configurations, with additional retailers coming soon. At $943, the configuration provided for review (specs to the right) comes in a black colorway only. 

Interestingly enough, the same specs with 500GB SSD storage come in at a lower $843 in both black and white, but with only a one-year warranty. 

Potential buyers looking for something a bit more powerful can get the all-in-one with an Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 250GB SSD and three-year warranty for $1,192, in Black only. 

There’s also a similar spec package with 500GB of SSD and one-year warranty in white for $1092.99. According to MSI’s site, a black color version is set to come soon. 

Citizens of both UK and Australia are going to have to wait a while for the PRO AP242. Speaking with a representative of MSI, we were told that the all-in-one will be available in both of those markets “down the line” since the previous AP241 were released there.

  • Value: 3 / 5

MSI Pro AP242: Design

The 1080p webcam of the MSI Pro AP242

The built-in 1080p webcam is pretty decent so long as lighting is adequate. (Image credit: Future)

  • Bland with low quality speakers
  • Display is just as bland but doesn’t wear out the eyes
  • Decent number of ports

Functionality at all costs is the best way to describe the MSI Pro AP242. A bland plastic black design that looks made for public high school libraries and reception desks, but it assembles easily enough. Just snap the base to the stand’s neck and connect some small clamps to all-in-one’s rear. 

The included keyboard and mouse connect wirelessly through a USB-A transmitter so getting to the initial Windows 11 start-up screen isn’t much of an issue. Input on the keyboard and mouse isn’t special but gets the job done. Expect crisp enough keyboard strokes for sessions of Mavis Beacon and smooth cursor work when navigating Google maps.

There are a respectable number of input ports as well. Two USB-A ports sits on the right side on the rear of the screen while the rest face downward. The other three USB-A ports hang downward for the circular desk hole cable management. 

The ports on the MSI Pro AP242

The ports on the MSI Pro AP242 (Image credit: Future)

Since two 3W external speakers are fairly low volume in even a quiet room and a bit hollow sounding, users will be better off with some headphones through the Mic-in / Line-out ports.

Multi-taskers can also connect to multiple screens through the HDMI and Display Port 1.4, but that is likely going to strain the integrated graphics here. Screen adjustment is a problem since the screen can only be lifted up and down. Don’t expect to pivot up and down or anything like that. Connectivity is fairly standard as well with the RJ45 ethernet port, Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.

The Matte LED HD display won’t wow cinephiles or content curators but it’s comfortable to look at for long lengths of time.

  • Design: 2.5 / 5

MSI Pro AP242: Performance

An MSI Pro AP242 resting on a table

The MSI Pro AP242 is capable of basic computing tasks, but not much else. (Image credit: Future)

  • Performance is good enough for general computing task
  • Don’t expect any moderately intensive content creation here
  • Definitely don’t expect to be gaming on this computer

Benchmarks

Here is how the MSI Pro AP242 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 8793
3DMark Time Spy: 695 Fire Strike: 1954  Night Raid: 9037
GeekBench 5: 1677 (single-core) 6193  (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 2766 

The standard 1080p display on the MSI PRO AP242 is passable since it can only handle so much. If using it for word processing and checking emails with the occasional Twitter rant, you’ll be fine. That said, this is an expensive machine for what is effectively a cheap Ultrabook's level of performance.

Opening standard Windows apps such as Microsoft Store and Office was a breeze. Just pay a bit of attention to the amount of Google Chrome tabs opened at once. 

About the most someone can do creatively is edit short 1080p videos or fix-up mid-resolution photos, and watching standard HD videos on YouTube wasn’t a problem either. 

The power and volume controls on the MSI Pro AP242

The power and volume controls on the MSI Pro AP242 (Image credit: Future)

Between the Intel UHD graphics and low RAM, playing the best PC games of the past five to ten years on this is definitely a no-no. Outside some simpler CPU-focused games that don’t have high visual fidelity, anything remotely demanding is going to run terribly, if it even runs at all.

We couldn't even benchmark anything like Total War: Warhammer III on the lowest settings without the game simply crashing to the desktop.

  • Performance: 2.5 / 5

Should you buy an MSI Pro AP242?

The side ports of the MSI Pro AP242

The side ports of the MSI Pro AP242 (Image credit: Future)

Buy it if…

Don't buy it if…

Also consider

MSI Pro AP242: Report card

ValueAt a sub- $1000 range, this all in one gets the job done and features a good warranty.3 / 5
DesignIt’s got plenty of ports but the overall look is giving local DMV office vibes.2.5 / 5
PerformanceThere’s not much it can do outside of simple tasks like web browsing, music streaming, watching YouTube videos, or basic productivity tasks.2.5 / 5
Total (Average)An absolutely mediocre all-in-one PC, you can at least get this one fairly cheap, but it will look the part as well.2.8 / 5
  • First reviewed August 2022

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